This month, Lee Burch joins us as Head Coach of the Hampshire FA Football Academy: a new full-time football and education programme based at Stoneham Lane Football Complex.
We caught up with Lee for a quick Q&A to get to know our newest team member…
1. Tell us a bit about yourself…
I started my journey coaching because of Sue Lopez at The Hampshire FA over 20 years ago. I did my work experience from school at the county FA and Sue introduced me to coaching and I did my first coaching course aged 16 (The Junior Team Managers Award then) working in grassroots before going on to work for many different companies both here and abroad before joining the FA Skills Programme and then more recently working professionally in the Women’s game. I have the UEFA A Licence as well as the LMA Diploma in Football Management. I enjoy all areas of the game including goalkeeping, futsal and youth football. Outside of football I enjoy other sports such as snooker and riding, and I’m a big film and music fan. I have two children who both play and I enjoy watching them also.
2. Can you explain what your new role entails?
I will be the Head Coach running the Academy Programme based at Stoneham Lane which will combine football with studies for our college students. They will also compete in weekly fixtures.
3. What football roles have you been involved with before joining Hampshire FA?
I have worked previously at Southampton FC both in the development programme and girls centre of excellence as it was then. I joined the FA as a Skills Coach a role which I held for over 12 years. I’ve worked for local non-league clubs like AFC Totton and then moved into management roles in the Women’s game. I worked as the Manager at Millwall Lionesses and London Bees (Barnet FC) in the FA Women’s Championship and professionally with Yeovil Town in the FA WSL.
4. What attracted you to the role at Hampshire FA and what are you most looking forward to?
The opportunity to start and new programme from scratch and put my personal stamp onto the programme, again working every day with players to help them improve and enjoy their football is exciting and enjoyable for myself also.
5. What qualities do you bring to the team and Hampshire FA?
An experience of all areas of the game and a knowledge and skill set around coaching and development of players and staff. I am a natural team player and leader and will look to start a legacy with the programme.
6. Who are your role models/mentors?
I have had many role models and mentors, but I am lucky to work with Brent Hills via the LMA who has a wealth of knowledge and support. I enjoy watching and studying as many do the likes of Mourinho, Guardiola and Bielsa.
7. Most importantly, what team do you support?
The Champions of Europe, Chelsea!